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Veterans Day: Honor the Soldier ... Scorn the Chickenhawk

George Washington's picture




 

Honor the Veterans

We honor the brave men and women who have served in our armed forces.

Some of the most generous, dedicated, brave people we have ever met are veterans.

But the government scorns them …

Veterans returning from the front lines are labeled “potential terrorists”, to the horror of both the Republican and Democratic leadership.

Veterans receive horrible health care.

Veterans who exercise the freedom of speech which they fought for abroad are harassed, beaten, and then denied medical treatment. (It’s been that way for a long time.)

And the big banks – which are continually being bailed out and otherwise enabled by the government – have been cheating veterans on their mortgages, and the government isn’t doing much about it.

War is a Racket

War is a racket“, according to one of the most highly-decorated military men of all time (and the hero who stopped a coup against FDR ).

Top economists say that war is horrible for the economy. It benefits a handful of elites, while levying a tax on the vast majority of Americans.

President Eisenhower - formerly a top general - tried to warn us:

The Founding Fathers also tried to warn us.

But we didn’t listen.

The Only Winners … War Profiteers

The heads of the big defense firms make huge salaries off of war, and are part of the oligarchy.

They not infrequently fund and sell arms to both sides of wars … and make a killing in the process.

Top economists have also proven that war is horrible for the vast majority of Americans.

Congress members – part of the super-elite which has made money hand over fist during this economic downturn – are heavily invested in the war industry, and routinely trade on inside information … perhaps even including planned military actions.

Similarly – as detailed below – the Federal Reserve helps to start wars by financing them (no, I’m not talking about the billions the Fed sent to Iraq or Gaddafi’s Libyan bank or other recently-disclosed shenanigans).

The Real Meaning of Veterans Day

David Swanson notes that Veteran’s Day began as a pledge to end all wars:

Believe it or not, November 11th was not made a holiday in order to celebrate war, support troops, or cheer the 11th year of occupying Afghanistan. This day was made a holiday in order to celebrate an armistice that ended what was up until that point, in 1918, one of the worst things our species had thus far done to itself, namely World War I.

 

***

 

A ten-year campaign was launched in 1918 that in 1928 created the Kellogg-Briand Pact, legally banning all wars. That treaty is still on the books, which is why war making is a criminal act and how Nazis came to be prosecuted for it.

“[O]n November 11, 1918, there ended the most unnecessary, the most financially exhausting, and the most terribly fatal of all the wars that the world has ever known. Twenty millions of men and women, in that war, were killed outright, or died later from wounds. The Spanish influenza, admittedly caused by the War and nothing else, killed, in various lands, one hundred million persons more.” — Thomas Hall Shastid, 1927.

Many active-duty service men are opposed to the endless wars, which only weaken our national security and increase terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

The troops want to come home, and the American public want them to come home as well.

It is only the elite who want war.  As Nazi leader Hermann Goering famously said:

Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Indeed, those who start wars on false premises are the biggest traitors. As I wrote on Veterans’ Day 2008:

Today, I sincerely and passionately honor our veterans.

 

So many have endured unimaginable hardship, trauma or injury. Some have paid the ultimate price to defend our country.

 

Veterans are Against the Iraq War

 

You might assume veterans of the Iraq war support the war.

 

Overwhelmingly, that is false.

 

Talk to some of the veterans. By and large, they think that the invasion of Iraq, or at least our continued occupation, is wrong.

 

They have seen first-hand the killing and maiming of innocent Iraqi civillians.

 

They have heard the cries of those falsely accused, who were shipped off to Abu Ghraib.

 

They have woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, reliving the nightmares they experienced.

 

They know that the chicken-hawk civilians who started the war and their yes-men in the military leadership are wrong, that the war should be stopped, and the troops brought home.

 

Renewing My Commitment

 

That’s why on Veterans’ day, I am honoring the brave men and women who served in the military by renewing my commitment to end the Iraq war.

 

The Iraq war might have been forgotten by the mainstream media, but I will not forget the troops and veterans. I will fight to end the war [all unnecessary wars] . . . for them.

 

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Tue, 11/13/2012 - 07:13 | 2975490 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

Great Post GW! Kudos!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 22:39 | 2974926 Mark Noonan
Mark Noonan's picture

Ah, human nature!  The ages go by, but it doesn't change.  To send men off to war is a terrible thing and yet it keeps getting done.  Why?  Because we are what we are: fallen.

But it isn't all squalor and greed, either.  There is nobility in a man, engaged in battle and with his selfishness reduced to the barest minimum, who fights courageously.  The war profiteer is a stain; so is the general who is merely interested in his personal glory.  But the man who uses his fortune to bring aid to the soldiers, he's a hero. And so, too, is the general who applies himself to his craft and works out ways to win with skill rather than the mere efusion of blood. 

Only the dead have seen the end of war - our task, if we have any decency, is to ensure it comes as rarely as possible...and when it does come that it is fought as cleanly as possible and with a mind to ending it in the shortest possible span of time.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:54 | 2974777 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

 

 

Fewer people care about Veterans Day as more people realize the military have become mercenaries of an imperialist war-mongering government.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:15 | 2974671 cenobite
cenobite's picture

Dear George

    My personal opinion as a retired U.S. Navy corpsman who did serve in Iraq but not Afganistan is that Iraq was lost the minute the Brits and French got involved with that oil soaked land in post WWI.  I saw George Bush, Sr. fumble away his chance to change the face of the Arab world when he halted a vicious, victorious Gen. Swartzkoph.  So Iraq will continue to stumble along as an Iranian client after we have the last civilian contractor bug out.   As for Afganistan, we should have nuked them orbit, just to be sure.

 

Yours

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:58 | 2974510 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

GW: I've always enjoyed the squealing of NON-PLAYAZ, of any non-playin' ilk, using the term "chicken-hawk".

So, please keep using that term to avoid the discussion (Alinsky is on your side) of smearing the opposition for things that your side doesn't do either.

Why, your side just won a Presidential Election with those tactics.

Congrats.

But, evidently (that is, unless you evidence something au contraire), you are a nay-playa.

That gives you the rights that you haven't earned, but many individuals who you don't and will never know, have earned for you.

That is their objective and their desire.

That is your situation

- Ned

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:18 | 2974401 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

I appreciate what my current friends and family members have done for me as an active or retired U.S. servicemen and women but it would be nice if we would actually try to minimize their necessary exposure to real injury and death in senseless conflicts.  

Afghanistan has long passed the point of expiration in terms of why we should be there, we aren't accomplishing our goals, and the future outlook is poor to grim.   Not to mention the $130B tab or so this year.  Tired of seeing the US play the 'Great Game' and use US serviceman/women as expendable low-value pieces on the board not to mention all of the killing we are doing.   

 

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 03:29 | 2975380 Setarcos
Setarcos's picture

"we aren't accomplishing our goals"

You are SO wrong, granted that you are not part of the "we" (the PNAC) who deliberately set out to destabilize EVERY country so far wrecked.

The goals of the PNAC - neocons, for instance - HAVE been achieved in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and ARE being achieved in Syria and Iran.

How come you know nothing about US foreign policy?  All you need do is Google PNAC and go from there to find out what you've been blind to for 20+ years.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 22:41 | 2974931 Mark Noonan
Mark Noonan's picture

It is time to leave - I had hopes that we could accomplish something tremendous there, and still believe that we could have done it.  But now its gone beyond recall - the mistakes we've made have been to massive and the amount of killing which would have to be done at this point entirely outpaces the good we can possibly do there.

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 03:41 | 2975388 Setarcos
Setarcos's picture

NO mistakes have been made!  The intention was to create chaos and thereby free the way for pipelines, resource exploitation and global hegemony.

Of course the question remains, "Will it work?"  Probably not, because Afghanistan has been the "graveyard" of previous empires but, meanwhile, try to divest yourself of the propaganda spin that something "good" was intended towards Afghanis.

The sole "good" intended was/is for Washington/corporate global hegemony ... and ALL US military personel have been mercenaries (no matter what they sincerely believe to the contrary) for the fascist military/industrial complex.

Small wonder that so many vets end up seriously disturbed psychologically, exactly the same as Vietnam vets.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:16 | 2974392 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Our US military arms are being used for private wars now. The last Constitutional war we ever fought was WWII. World War 3 will be the first private war in Americas history. Happy Veterans Day.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:12 | 2974377 falak pema
falak pema's picture

scorn the chicken hawks :

more on the sham scam of Benghazi bang bang :

Benghazi Attack New Details - Business Insider

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:51 | 2974491 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

fp-ya gotta' get your head screwed on and see the actuality.

- Ned

and a reddie on this crap

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:02 | 2974341 mayavision2012
mayavision2012's picture

My father fought on Peleliu during WWII and received a Purple Heart.  I didn't come into his world until many years after that war ended but the PTSD he suffered from that war robbed me of his being able to be fully present in my early life.  Oh, he was around physically and was a wonderful father but emotionally, he was often in denial and could not share himself fully.   

Let us remember that it is not just the veterans who suffer, but also their children and descendants.

I'm grateful that he passed away before 9/11 and never lived to see all the liberties he fought for have been robbed from all of us since that time.

 

 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 22:44 | 2974937 Mark Noonan
Mark Noonan's picture

My father's fight was on Saipan - he never told me much about it except that it smelled like blood and shit.  He, too, had a great deal of trouble being "nromal".  Perhaps it was the war, perhaps it was something inside him.  I don't know - but he did his bit and he did live to see 9/11.  He also told me shortly before he died that he was ok with going...he didn't like how things were developing.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:34 | 2974217 blindman
blindman's picture

she said " you squeeze the fruit, you get the juice."
.
U.S. Government to Gulf War Vets: Drop Dead! PART 1 of 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQRMtGhegrs
.
http://www.veteranstoday.com/

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:16 | 2974172 koncaswatch
koncaswatch's picture


My silver starred Vietnam Campaign Medal (5 campaigns) is indicative of many memories of good and bad during my active duty. I left at the ten year career Rubicon feeling that there wasn’t enough valid reasoning present to continue service.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized that while I joined "in service" under the pressure of the draft, my re-enlistment was that of nothing more than a mercenary. The hoax of "service" is perpetrated on the military and civilian mind by the same people that have enslaved us with debt. While I recognize my brothers in arms as truly brothers, I can only say that TPTB don’t deserve our sacrifice. Happy Armistice Day.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:49 | 2974072 razorthin
razorthin's picture

You are the voice of reason yet again, George.  Republicans and democrats, as they've evolved to date, are both fiscal liberals.  The main difference is what they would spend the clown bucks on.  However, it is clear that today's liberal democrats support almost no restraint in spending on anything, including the MIC.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:16 | 2974555 Benjamin Glutton
Benjamin Glutton's picture

nice try razorthin intellect...real liberals wanted no part of the current MENA disaster.

 

perhaps you meant to say Demopublicans.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:26 | 2974002 Bubble
Bubble's picture

Our leaders stand and honor the war dead and at the same time finance and arm some of the same people who, now in Syria, are responsible for some of those deaths and injuries. What games they play, these great leaders of ours.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:17 | 2973965 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Let us not forget to honor the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as Canada and Mexico since they have and still do prevent enemy attacks on our soil much more so than our military which failed us on 9/11.  As far as ICBM's and nuclear weapons, well we had best be working for their complete eradication...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:55 | 2973883 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

The armistice marking the end  of the war, to end all wars.

The one that would be over by Xmas.

Comedic irony, to the point of vomiting.

Its easier to list the years when we havem't been at war since.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:53 | 2973873 I am on to you
I am on to you's picture

Veterans!

To become one,you have had to pass,the wars,the ones declared,and,to us who was born a bit later than the second one ,which should have been the last,the undeclared,which no Veteran or other can be proud of any how.

About the Oligarchs, constant gardners,they plant the seeds,but if no one buy the crops,no profit comes out of it?

They would not make a dime,if they didnt have someone to use their Toys,so isnt the question,who outsmart who,or is it not,BOYS like big toys,and free pass to kill anyone at will,even worse,what makes a man/woman kill a person,they never saw in their live,who never did them any harm?Just because the theif in command say so.

Anyway,i like your work,G.W,a person learns a lot reading your posts,tank you  for that!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:49 | 2974488 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

The VA does have some hep for ya, git it.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:42 | 2973845 Benjamin Glutton
Benjamin Glutton's picture

Thank You George. With all due respect I must refrain from further comment on this subject today.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 14:31 | 2973365 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Amongst today's service members, I'll wager that only a tiny fraction of them have ever heard of Armistice Day.  I guess I only realize this because my grandfather fought in the first world war and my mother always called it Armistice Day. All our other holidays such as Memorial Day and Independence Day have also been subverted by statists blowing the "support our troops" horn, which confuses the issue amongst the gullible--what exactly are we celebrating here?  Celebrating Armistice makes sense--the end of a war/wars.  Honoring veterans is also fine, as long as we don't glorify the whole business and turn it into a vicious cycle.  A lot of vets I have talked to are too proud of their service and actually encourage the young to join the military.  Actually, I don't often hear that amongst the real combat vets who saw a lot of people get killed or nearly bought it themselves.  Those types seem a lot more subdued about the matter.

I'm pretty much done arguing with any military folks about what they think it is they are accomplishing for this country because most of them seem thoroughly convinced they are doing it for me and all of the rest of us when, as far as I can recall, I never asked them to do anything on my behalf.  It's sort of embarassing, quite frankly--I'm perfectly capable of defending my own freedom, thanks.  What they offer is unsolicited support, and there's a problem with the ethics of that.  It's basically the same wedge that government uses to rape us all the time with every single policy that they want put in place.  Don't like it?  Tough shit.  Plus, with the whole "support the troops or else thing" you're not patriotic, to boot.  And heaven forbid I ever try to talk someone in the military out of doing this stuff--just walk away.  But no, that isn't acceptable because for too many of those people, their entire identity is wrapped up inside this warped idea of service because it gives meaning to an otherwise empty life.  And then there's the careerists--they need the medals to get promoted, which I suspect is why the military backs most of the cockamamie schemes to begin with--it's good for the career and you can make big bucks after "retirement" by going into the "private" sector defense biz. Not that the rank and file are ever invited to that party much.

Anyways, Happy Veteran's Day and here's hoping that as a nation we wise up so that we have a lot fewer veterans at some point in the future.  Make no mistake, I'll fight and even die to keep my kids from being murdered by our own government.

 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:06 | 2974645 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

Your last sentence sets the context.  +++

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:27 | 2974207 PeaceMonger
PeaceMonger's picture

Well said

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